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The Emergence Of Universalism: An Affirmative Genealogy

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Chapter Summary

In planning the session about "The Legacy of Sociology" at the 37th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, the organizers certainly had more in mind than a mere combination of representatives from different national sociological traditions when they decided to invite Margaret Archer, Raymond Boudon, and myself. The pragmatists clearly were mostly interested in the natural sciences from physics to biology whereas the hermeneuticists obviously lived in an intense dialogue with theology, the history of philosophy, literature, and law. A sociological study of major innovations in the field of values is neither a philosophical attempt to offer a rational justification for these values nor a mere historical reconstruction of the contingencies of their emergence. Philosophical justifications do not need history. The notion of genealogy is, of course, taken from Nietzsche. Nietzsche is the pioneer of all studies about the genesis of values.

Keywords: affirmative genealogy; sociological traditions



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